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Backbench Business — Badger Cull

Part of Royal Assent – in the House of Commons at 2:45 pm on 13th March 2014.

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Photo of Sir David Amess Sir David Amess Conservative, Southend West 2:45 pm, 13th March 2014

I do not want to provoke my hon. Friend Bill Wiggin, but as a member of the Backbench Business Committee, I must tell him that I am delighted that we chose this subject for debate. I have enjoyed the debate, particularly its passion. It is such a shame that the passion demonstrated on animal welfare today has not been demonstrated on all such issues during the years that I have been in Parliament. If it had been, we would have had a much better outcome for God’s creatures than we now have. If I had been told when I spoke from the Back Benches on Third Reading of the Protection of Badgers Bill, which was piloted through by the noble Lord Waldegrave in 1992, that I would now be here to support the motion tabled by my hon. Friend Mrs Main about badger culling, I simply would not have believed it.

I do not want to antagonise any hon. Friends who represent farming communities—I am well aware of the pressures I face from my hon. Friends—but I am only too well aware that badgers are not warm cuddly creatures and that they can be dangerous when cornered. Some people claim that there are too many badgers and foxes, but that is a completely different matter and is not an argument for today’s debate. I represent the urban area of Southend West. When I made that speech about protecting badgers many years ago, I had no idea how difficult it was to move a sett from an urban area to somewhere else.